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Self-Discipline
 

We've already discussed the fact that you must decide what you want out of sports wagering. Once you've determined your goals and you understand the way you're going to play, you must stay with your rules.

Let's assume that you are playing for profit and not just for fun. Self-discipline is the cornerstone of successful sports wagering. Quite simply, if you feel that you cannot stay with your predetermined rules, religiously and without exception, don't play for anything other than fun. Sports wagering is not for everyone, and if you can't play smart, and play consistently, you're beaten before you start. A few important guidelines are as follows:

1. Never play more than 20 percent of the total number of available wagers on a given day. For instance, on a typical college football day, there will be approximately thirty-five games and ten totals, for a total of forty-five betting opportunities. In this situation, nine plays would be the absolute maximum number of plays you should make. The lower the percentage of the plays you make of the total available plays, the higher your win percentage will be, and the higher the net winnings. It is obviously better to go three and one than it is to go fifteen and thirteen. In both cases you've won a net two games, but if you are a $100 player at three and one you win $190, while at fifteen and thirteen you only win $70, because of the 10 percent juice you pay on losing wagers. More importantly, from a mathematical standpoint, it is 13.2 times as easy to go three and one as it is to go six and two-in both cases a 75 percent win.

If you use a service, like All-Star Sports, don't waste all of our hard work by playing our plays and then picking out "a few more games" on your own. We spend a lot of time balancing the card with favorites, underdogs, certain spread ranges, and factoring in our latest, best information to come up with what we think is the best combination of plays for a certain day. I remember one weekend last year where we swept the board on Saturday, going 5 - 0 in college football, followed by 3 - 1 in the NFL on Sunday. Late Sunday afternoon I got a call from one of our customers, who said, "I need a really strong play for tonight's games to get me out of this hole." It turns out that even though I'd given him an 8 - 1 weekend, he'd picked out "a few parlays and a couple of teasers" and wiped out a great two days in the process. There's one thing I can guarantee you in wagering on sports: If you play twelve to fourteen games, throw in three or four parlays and a couple of teasers, your sports website will send a cab for you to make sure you place your bets.

2. Decrease the number of plays; increase the amount of the wager. For example, if you normally like to play ten games at $100 per games, you are much better off to play five games at $200 per games. You still have the same total exposure-$1,000, but your winning percentage will be much higher. Remember, your odds of winning four bets in a row are one in sixteen, and the odds of hitting ten in a row are an incredible 1,023 to 1! We like to think that our odds are a little better than that because we historically hit between 65 percent and 70 percent of our plays, but calculated at even a 70 percent win rate, your chances of winning the fifth games in a row are only 16.8 percent, which gives you a 5 to 1 odds against winning the last games.


3. Stay away from the big TV games and other marquee matchups. Who wants to handicap these kinds of games? For that matter who can handicap these kinds of games? I'll answer that for you-nobody can! There's far too much emotion, the teams are usually pretty evenly matched, the teams are usually both very good, the games can often be won or lost on a single play or a single turnover, and the lines are usually very different in different parts of the country.

If you absolutely must wager on major TV games, at least recognize that they are usually the worst betting situation of the day, and bet no more than 25 percent of your normal play on these games.

We're looking for games that don't attract a lot of attention, thereby leaving the line unaffected by public opinion, which is often swayed by the television shows and media hype that surrounds the big games. We want to find the mismatch. We want the games to be over by half-time. We want to bet on a team that goes in to a game knowing they'll win, and we want to find them matched up against a team that goes in knowing they are going to lose. They're not the most glamorous games-but who cares? We want to cash the ticket and that's the main thing that matters.


4. Learn to bet against your favorite team or Alma Mater. I can't tell you the number of times I've given out a play-a good play only to hear, "Oh, I can't bet against them. I went to school there." Who cares? You're not going to change the outcome of the games because you bet for or against any team, but you can sure change the thickness of your wallet or purse by betting on your favorite team when you know they probably won't win, or by not betting against your favorite team when you know they don't have a chance. On a personal basis, I love the University of Memphis-I went to school there. I also love Mississippi State-my uncle was the head basketball coach there for several years-and I root for Tennessee on a regular basis. I will also bet against any one of them in a heartbeat if I think that's the right play. Bet with your wallet, not your heart.

Now that we've set the basic guidelines, let's go on to another reason that most players lose money.

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The beauty of online poker games is that on the surface it is a game of utter simplicity, yet beneath the surface it is profound, rich, and full of subtlety. Because online poker games basic rules are so simple, anyone can learn online poker games in a few minutes, and novice players may even think they're pretty good after a few hours. From the expert's point of view, the veneer of simplicity that deludes so many players into thinking they're good is the profitable side of the games beauty. It doesn't take long for pool players or golfers to realize they're outclassed and to demand that a match be handicapped, but losers in online poker games return to the table over and over again, donating their money and blaming their losses on bad luck, not bad play
 
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